Groundbreaking at Laguna Commons, a Joint Development of Abode Services and MidPen Housing
On May 12th Fremont Mayor Bill Harrison and Christine Gouig, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of the County of Alameda, joined other city and county leaders to celebrate the groundbreaking of Laguna Commons, an affordable rental community being jointly developed by Abode Services and MidPen Housing. This groundbreaking was one of the official events of Affordable Housing Week 2015.
The result of a visionary partnership between the City of Fremont, the County of Alameda, Abode Services, and MidPen Housing, Laguna Commons is an innovative supportive housing community that will provide 64 homes for low and very low-income individuals and families in the heart of Fremont’s Irvington District. More than half of the units will house veterans and those who have been homeless. Supportive housing is a housing model that has been proven effective by combining permanent housing with a wide variety of on-site social services that allow residents to establish stability.
“Housing that our diverse workforce can afford is critical to the vitality of our city,” said Bill Harrison, Mayor of Fremont. “I am particularly excited about Laguna Commons, which will provide quality homes in a community where our city’s valued Veterans and formerly homeless households will be able to live in dignity.”
“MidPen applauds the City of Fremont for their vision in making affordable housing a strategic priority,” said Matthew O. Franklin, President of MidPen Housing. “Located in the heart of Fremont, Laguna Commons will provide the city’s low-income workers with homes near to their jobs, public transportation, retail, and other important community resources.”
Expected to open in fall 2016, Laguna Commons will provide 20 studios with full kitchens, as well as 21 one-bedroom, 11 two-bedroom, and 11 three-bedroom apartments to individuals and families earning up to 50% of Area Median Income (AMI), which is $41,400 for a three-person household. The community also features many amenities, including a landscaped courtyard, a community room with kitchen, computer lab and offices for service delivery.
Robust supportive services will be provided onsite daily by Abode Services and supplemented by Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services. These include case management, parenting classes, life skills training, financial planning, job counseling and placement, mental health services and academic support for the youth residents. All residents will have access to services; veterans and formerly homeless residents will receive additional supportive services designed to promote social integration and ensure housing stability.
“We are not just building new homes today, we are creating a supportive community backed by Abode Services’ more than 25 years of experience providing social services that help keep individuals and families housed,” Abode Services Executive Director Louis Chicoine said. “We are extremely proud to be part of this partnership that is creating a sustainable, supportive housing community for our veterans and members of our community who would otherwise struggle to find a place to live.”
Financing for the $34.9M development was provided through both public and private sources. Bank of America Merrill Lynch provided over $1M.
“Bank of America is proud to partner with MidPen Housing and Abode Services to bring Laguna Commons to the Fremont community,” said Ari Beliak, Vice President, Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “Bank of America is committed to enhancing the economic development of our communities by supporting affordable housing projects. Today, we are investing in Fremont with 64 new spaces for families and veterans to call home.”
Significant additional funding was provided by the City of Fremont, the Housing Authority of the County of Alameda, Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services, the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the US Department of Veterans Affairs.